We who stand for Israel stand doubly tall for the brave men and women who protect her. The inspiring story of one such young woman is told by Israel Hayom's Danny Brenner - the story of a woman who would not let a physical disability stop her from giving her all and being the best she could be:
Second Lieutenant Shira Kochavi, 22, was born deaf. In the first few months of her life, her parents noticed she did not respond to noises and voices, and examinations demonstrated that Kochavi was deaf in both ears. At the age of nine months, Kochavi underwent an operation that improved her hearing slightly, and she grew up with impaired hearing and a slight stutter. From the time she started school until it was time for her to enlist in the army, she used a hearing aid.
"There were two types of service open to me -- serving as paramedic or an officer for female soldiers," Kochavi says.
"I passed the entrance exam for the paramedics [course] and was even given a draft date, but then I decided to choose second option of being an officer, which called out to me more," she says.
At that stage, it was made clear to Kochavi that she might have to shelve her dream of serving in the IDF.
"The female officer's training required the highest possible medical profile," Kochavi says. "After the army medical exams, I was assigned the lowest profile because of the operations I'd had, and the army wanted to send me on my way. They said I might be able to volunteer, nothing more. Someone else might have given up, but not me."
Two years ago, Kochavi enlisted and signed on for a combat role in the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps, and last Thursday was awarded her officer's stripes after completing officers training...